Auditor reports violations in Centreville finances

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2003

CENTREVILLE &045; Struggling with budget woes, layoffs and employee benefit reductions, aldermen listened intently Tuesday night as an independent auditor reported six alleged violations of state law he found during a recent review of the Town of Centreville’s financial statements for the 2002 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

Wes Gore of the Natchez-based Silas M. Simmons, LLC noted the following deficiencies in a 57-page report he delivered to the board at its regular monthly meeting:

4The town failed to maintain detailed subsidiary records documenting the valuation of property and equipment included in general fixed assets.

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4The board approved claims and the city clerk issued warrants for expenditures in excess of the detailed budget as finally adopted or revised.

4The city clerk failed to provide the board with a revenue and expenditure sheet at each monthly meeting.

4The city clerk failed to remit state assessments collected on municipal court fines each month between February 2002 and September 2002.

4The board failed to adopt and approve the minutes of its regular meetings held in May 2002 and June 2002.

4The city clerk failed to maintain complete municipal minutes with regard to the claims docket at six regular meetings during fiscal 2002. The beginning and ending claims docket numbers were left blank, and the total dollar amount of the claims docket was left blank.

In each instance, the auditing firm made recommendations, and the town’s official responses were noted in the report, which is dated Feb. 14.

Mayor David Owens said the town has already taken steps to correct the problems.

&uot;We have pretty well got everything under control now, and we are trying to do better,&uot; he said.

When asked for a bottom-line figure for the 2002 fiscal year, Gore said the town lost about $30,000. That number is a vast improvement over previous year losses estimated at $17,000 per month by board members at a special meeting last month.

The independent auditor’s report, which is completed on an annual basis, will be submitted to the Office of the State Auditor for review.